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Re: Backup P2 to tape

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Barry Green
Re: Backup P2 to tape
on Jan 9, 2006 at 11:17:10 pm

It's a different workflow so you have to disassociate yourself from the whole concept of "video tape."

A P2 card is, for all intents and purposes, a hard disk. It's not a videotape kind of thing. You don't "capture" video from the P2 card, it's already captured and digitized. The data on a P2 card is what you'd expect to have after capturing a video tape, if you see what I mean.

So at that point, it's all data on a hard disk. How do you back up hard disks? Typically with data tape. DLT, or LTO, or SAIT, or the old Travan, or Exabyte, etc. Data tape is the mainstay of archiving mass quantities of data worldwide. Data tape is what's used to archive bank records and all sorts of things. Well, P2 data is just a bunch of computer files, just like spreadsheets or databases or word processing documents. So you can back all that up to data tape, just like you would any other computer data.

And backing up to data tape has significant, tremendous advantages -- it can be 3x faster than writing to video tape, it's bit-for-bit accurate, and it preserves your project exactly as you had it when you last used it. You can restore your project completely and go back to work at any time, whereas if you back up to video tape, you'd have to then re-capture all your footage. And backing up to data tape preserves all the metadata, whereas going to video tape discards all the metadata.

And, finally, data tape drives are vastly less expensive than video tape decks. A DVCPRO-HD video deck with firewire input will be around $25,000; you can get a pretty killer data drive for under $5,000 and some decent choices under $2,000. And data tape is less expensive per gigabyte than video tape too.

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